The huge new play area is at the heart of a major transformation of the site, with the aim of reviving and breathing new life into the shopping destination.
Getting to work
Our work began in November 2016 with a site visit by the design team. With the scale of the scheme being so large it was important we assessed and surveyed the site prior to beginning work, so the decision was made to make the short trip to East Yorkshire to get to grips with the area and work that lay ahead!
Following this step, we created an inspiration book featuring different ideas and themes that could develop the area. After consultation and refinement, we decided on a beach theme, which would run throughout the extensive outdoor play space.
On the beach
This theme begins as you’re lead down from the indoor play area and onto a slip-resistant decked boardwalk. In this area you’ll find a large bouncing pillow and bespoke beach huts, hand painted in pastel summer colours by our very own talented joiners! These are designed to offer shelter from weather and as a space to dry off after playing in the nearby rock pools.
These surround the main section of the infant play area, which is centred around a huge recreated beach in the form of a sand pit. Next to this we've placed artificial grass and traditional seaside deck chairs, for both children and parents to relax and take some much needed time out!
Going with the flow
As well as including traditional play items such as a slide and swings, a unique cascading water system flows nearby, making this far different from your average play area! This beautifully cobbled stream leads to rock pools, and is without doubt one of our favourite water installations to date. This water feature provides the chance for children to control the system’s flow, with a sluice gate at the gateway to each pool. This gives children the opportunity to fill up the rock pools, before opening the gate and releasing the water down stream into the next pool!
As well as this being fun, children benefit from combining sand and water, experimenting with different materials and in the process boosting their senses.
The penultimate rock pool also has racing streams and two sluices to add an element of challenge and competition for children. The final pool is the largest and can be filled up to similar levels as a paddling pool before the water is release into the drain. This provides a perfect area for both children and adults to cool down on those warm summer days.
For older children
For older children there’s also a more advanced, senior play area. This includes a dragon swing named the Serpent Swing (continuing the beach and sea life theme) and an adventure trail featuring a balance beam, log roller and swinging steps. This area also features peeled painted posts with hand carved fish details that are interlaced with ropes.
The play area is also home to a double 25 metre zip line with run off platform, which always proves higely popular with children at play areas across the UK!
These older children features are targeted at ecouraging team work and socialilising, allowing multiple children to work together and communicate more effectively.
Transforming Hornsea Freeport
The Beach Cove play area is operated by Mark Farnsworth, owner of Hornsea Freeport's William's Farm Kitchen and Café.
Mark said: "We're very excited about the opening of the Beach Cove Adventure Playground and Café and are looking forward to welcoming lots of families back to this great outlet village.”
Mark, who is also behind the Grasshoppers Adventure Playground at Tong Garden Centre in Bradford, continued: ”The introduction of Grasshoppers as part of Tong Garden Centre has shown me how relevant a well run play area is to young families and we hope that Beach Cove will prove similarly popular."